A car accident can happen in an instant and can be a life-changing incident in some cases. While you hopefully never have to be involved in a car accident, it’s a good idea to know what you should do in the immediate aftermath of the event. If you are in a car crash, you should consult with a Houston car accident lawyer.
Check for Injuries
First and foremost, ensure everyone who was present during the accident in either car is safe. If there are serious injuries or someone appears non-responsive or off-balance, call 911 immediately.
Under Texas Transportation Code section 550.026 calling authorities is required if a person has been injured or died, or if the damage to one of the cars is extensive enough that it cannot be safely driven away from the accident scene. Even after minor accidents, it’s a good idea to notify authorities so they can assess the situation and fill out a report.
Document the Accident
Unless you are injured or have an injured person in your car, try to document the accident as soon as possible so you can gather as much accurate information as possible.
- Note where the accident occurred, time of day, and any other relevant details.
- Take photographs of both cars and other items (i.e. road signs, skid marks, or anything else that might be useful to authorities and insurance companies).
- Identify witnesses to the accident.
- Exchange information with the other party, including insurance company.
- Report accidents to your insurance company as soon as possible.
The more details you gather will be helpful in dealing with insurance issues and/or any possible legal consequences.
Never Admit Fault
Even if you think the accident might have been your fault, never admit fault to the other driver or anyone else in the vicinity. It may turn out you aren’t at fault because other factors you’re unaware of played a role. The other driver may have been intoxicated or driving while distracted. Texas is an “at fault” state which means blame is legally assigned to automobile accidents. You never want to accept blame for an incident you didn’t cause.
Call an Attorney
Sometimes injuries don’t surface in the aftermath of a car accident but show up days or even months later. The State of Texas places a 2-year statute of limitations on a person’s right to file a lawsuit in most car accident situations. An experienced car accident attorney can interpret Texas law when it comes to lawsuits and negligence.
The time frame after an accident occurs can be scary, especially if you’ve never encountered this type of situation before. Consulting with a Houston car accident lawyer after a car accident occurs can help make the aftermath less stressful.